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Beijing Daxing International Airport Now Officially Open

September 27th, 2019
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Photo by STR / AFP

The wait is finally over since the futuristic starfish-shaped new airport in Beijing was officially opened on September 25, 2019, wherein President Xi Jinping led the inauguration ceremonies. President Xi Jinping had a brief remark conducted inside the huge terminal and it comes ahead of the 70th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China which will be on the 1st of October marking the 70 years of the Communist rule. According to Xi, the single terminal airport is being viewed as a fitting embodiment of the Chinese dream.

If you’re going to visit China soon, you’ll be in awe of this spectacular creation with an ultimate purpose. Experience for yourself the impeccable services it has in store for every passenger. Be a keen observer and you’ll be able to interpret and discover why it is designed that way by the late British Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid. Your journey is anticipated to be as smooth as possible without any hassle since the airport has a systematic procedure from its security checks until boarding. And if you want to check your flight status, you can do so by maximizing the use of one of the popular flight tracking systems worldwide. It can provide you with real-time notifications if there are any changes with your flight. You can also see and monitor the planes as seen on its live map. Aside from that, you can also access various significant information concerning the aircraft such as speed, altitude, arrival and departure times, cancellations and even flight delays. Your loved ones can also track your flight. They don’t need to worry too much if sudden changes happened since they can also monitor it on their side.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) recently assigned code for Daxing is PKX. It took 5 years to build the terminal. The size of this airport is about 100 times of the football pitches which is equivalent to 173 acres or 700,000 square meters. And it is huge and indeed the largest airport in China and probably become one of the largest airport terminals worldwide. By 2021, 45 million passengers per year are estimated to pass through the terminal.

Beijing’s Daxing International Airport is located 19 miles or equivalent to 46 kilometers south of the famous Tiananmen Square. In 2040, It is expected to operate at full capacity with its eight runways. Four of the runways are for commercial flights. It can accommodate around 300 take-offs and landings per hour, as per the airport officials. It will most likely become one of the busiest airports in the world due to its potential to receive over a hundred million passengers annually. Thereby eclipsing Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, which currently holds the title of being the world’s busiest airport. According to the Airports Council International, Beijing Capital holds the crown as the world’s second busiest airport.

What’s interesting about this newly open airport is that underneath the terminal, there’s a train station and metro line that allows passengers to reach the city center in just 20 minutes. The projected costs of the entire structure including the rail and road links are about 400 billion. According to the Civil Aviation Administration in China, the airport will surely generate almost 600,000 jobs.

Daxing features duty-free shops and restaurants, pet hotels, childcare facilities, work zones, and even various stages for public events. Its interiors were planned as if Hong Kong-based studio Level 8 is designing a small city. According to Simon Chua, the Executive Director of Level 8, Daxing is a glimpse into the shape of the cities of the future. He even explained that the airport could even serve as a new paradigm for office complex developments. He also added that he’s hoping that their scheme will inspire future airport developments without compromising the natural environment specifically in Beijing.

Technology also plays a vital role and act as an additional attraction at Daxing since it has a robot-operated parking system, facial recognition to speed up security checks and boarding as well as a robust Wi-Fi service. If a passenger is lost, there are roving robots that will accommodate and guide them. The Chinese media has named Daxing as the starfish airport because it looks like that when you view it from above. However, before the death of its architect Zaha Hadid, the design is being associated with the phoenix or locally known as mythical Feng Huang which is an auspicious symbol in the Chinese imagination. The airport’s trademark is the winding curves and parabolic folds found at the Hadid building as well as its ovoid overhead windows which already spread throughout the social media pages.

The radical design incorporated at the Daxing airport has a goal of reducing the walking time of the passengers from the security checkpoints up to the furthest gates. As per the interview of one of the airport officials, the passengers don’t need to walk for more than eight minutes just to reach their specified gate.

The three-state owned airlines of China, namely Air China, China Eastern, and China Southern Airlines is expected to operate to this new airport. Aside from the given carriers, about 50 foreign airline companies such British Airways, Finnair, Malaysia Airlines, Royal Brunei Airlines, and Royal Maroc to name a few, are also planning to create routes via Daxing starting from October 27 to March 28. Over the given period, the airlines will operate almost 100 domestic flights and 15 international routes.